May 9, 2013 - 6:22am

The Rhododendrons are in full bloom at VIU’s Milner Gardens & Woodlands, which means that more than 10 acres of this seaside retreat are bursting with a forest of colour.

Some of the plants are more than 70 years old, and have grown to tree-sized proportions, bearing hundreds of blooms, as the garden’s Rhododendron collection was started in 1950 by the original owners of the property Veronica and Ray Milner.

“It’s a delight to wander through the garden right now, both a result of the design and layout of the collection, as well as the age and setting,” says Geoff Ball, Executive Director of the Gardens. “Over the decades, the Rhododendrons have grown and settled into the natural material to give the woodland garden a magical feel.”

There are more than 400 specimens, some of them extremely rare thanks in particular to the work of Veronica who, inspired by her mother’s garden in England, envisioned and created a wild, woodland garden amongst the forest.

After taking in the Rhododendrons, visitors can wander through the peaceful woodland with its ancient coastal Douglas fir forest or relax at the tearoom housed in the 1936 building on the property which serves a traditional English tea complete with finger sandwiches and scones, and homemade jams.

For more information please visit [Milner's website](

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